iDance Interview with Rebecca Tow
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Hong Kong, but I came here when I was five, so I was pretty much raised here. Before coming here I lived in Australia for a year, and then my parents decided to come here. A lot of my dad’s family is here too, so I think that had to do with the decision.
Have you ever been back to Australia?
No I haven’t. I always imagined if I’d stayed I’d have an Australian accent. I have two cousins there. One day hopefully I’ll go back.
I love this city, I can’t really imagine myself anywhere else right now. And in terms of career, ever since high school I knew I wanted to do marketing so that’s what I’m in right now. I also love cars, so this year I got into automotive marketing. I’ve always been wanting to do that so I’m giving it a go.
So what is your favourite car?
My favourite is, I’ve actually got it right now, it’s a 1987 Toyota Corolla Coupe. I love Japanese vintage cars.
Yeah I love vintage cars, basically 60’s to 80’s. I think the design is just so timeless and it’s really nice [laughs], it’s really cool.
How did you get into cars?
I don’t know, it happened in high school and I just decided that I loved cars. The first car that I loved was the Corvette, so that was my dream car for a very long time.
Awesome. So what do you think of iDance? And how often are you dancing?
4 to 6 times a week. I share my time with iDance and another studio I go to in Richmond. I’d say it started in 2013, when I started going to iDance. My very first class that I took was with Roberta Bierman, and I fell in love [laughs].
Yeah she’s so good.
I love her [both laugh].
I always wanted to try dance when I was younger but I never got into it, I was very shy, I was intimidated. Then through Groupons I was able to try dance. So I actually did Zumba before I did dance. I tried some classes just to get myself familiar with dancing in front of a mirror, with other people, just being in that class setting. And then I tried iDance, Roberta, loved it, because I’ve always wanted to do hip hop. And then from there I stuck around. iDance offers so many different classes, a variety of different instructors. Everyone is just friendly and approachable, it’s just a nice environment. And you’re dancing with people who have the same passion as you. So I just got hooked. Both from the environment which is so awesome and for personal growth. I just got addicted and you want to get better. So I kept at it.
Oh cool. Yeah you obviously tried out for Culturally Defined (a semi-professional dance training program in Vancouver, created by our very own Kyle Vicente and Chris Wong) and got in which is amazing. What made you decide to do that? Were you wanting to improve or where were you wanting to go with dance?
So for Culturally Defined from close to when they first started, and knowing Kyle and Chris, taking classes from them a couple of years ago...then last year I was invited to auditions through Facebook, I was too scared to do it, then this year came around and I was still too scared to do it [Amanda laughs], but with the help of really awesome people, Jaymee, Case, basically two days beforehand Jaymee asked if I was going, Case knew, and they both encouraged me to do it, and they said I would be fine. Because the main thing was I was scared to do it. I don’t come from a performing background. So it was totally new to me, so I’m so glad, that’s the thing, being in an environment where people believe in you and support you. So I gave it a try and it was horrifying…
...even though I knew Kyle and Chris, you put yourself in this position where it’s just so different.
Well it’s awesome you made it in. So what do you want to be doing in dance in future? Is there anything specific?
Nothing specific, just continuous improvement at this point. And just enjoying it and growing technique. I think through Culturally Defined, learning from the faculty, dancing with new people, just building on technique and freestyle.
I struggle with that too! [both laugh]
Yeah me too, freestyling is so scary, so hopefully through that it will push me. I’m nervous, I’m actually still...I’m excited but nervous.
Don’t be, you’re going to be awesome. So what would you say are your favorite classes at iDance?
I love hip hop, that just goes back to, I love hip hop music. And I love how iDance offers different levels. There’s open level, there’s Jocelyn’s intermediate, and even different teachers teaching it. A different teacher is a different style which is completely different. You take a different class with a new teacher and it’s like learning to dance all over again!
Yeah for sure. So what would you say are challenges of coming to the dance studio? Especially for someone who’s never danced before?
For someone who’s stepping into dance for the first time, I think you just have to do it. [laughs] You just have to do it!
Yeah, actually one of the first classes I took was grooving with Kyle. That really taught the basics of...just practice. No matter what, the first two classes, or even the first year for some people, it’s going to be challenging and you might think you look weird...it just takes time. Because I have friends who watch my dance videos and they say, “No, you’re really good!” And I’m like you have to give it a try too, dance is so good for the soul. And they’re like, “No, I’m not coordinated” and I’m like, “Absolutely it’s not easy but it just takes time.”
So what would you say to people who say they have two left feet? Or what class would you tell them to try first?
I would say grooving or Zumba. I love how Zumba, I don’t take it anymore, but Zumba you get a good workout, but it also teaches you how to move, and you’re trying to catch up memory and coordination, and it works for a lot of things in dancing. So Zumba and grooving would be a good start. No one’s good at it at the beginning, but that’s ok.
Ooh so hard [laughs]. That’s a really hard one because everyone’s so different.
You can say your top few…
Ok, Jocelyn. She always keeps us on our toes. Her choreo is very quick, her style is very unique. I love her energy, it’s supportive, she pushes you. I love the way she teaches, she teaches so efficiently. She maximizes the time, we’re talking warm up, go go go. And still at the same time she doesn’t go too fast. She goes fast but she still breaks it down.
And Roberta for sure. She’s like queen [both laugh].
What do you like about Roberta?
For beginners, Roberta’s class. She breaks it down. She’s such a good teacher!
Yeah she’s good for every level. You could totally do her class as a beginner or as an advanced dancer.
Yeah, I’ve been to her advanced class which was whoa, but she’s really good at teaching people who are new to it. She’s so much fun, her energy, you just come out with a smile.
And Kyle and Case of course. Grooving and house. Everyone is just really good energy, they’re not intimidating at all. That’s why people keep coming back. You have people who’ve been with iDance, like Rita, for years as well because it’s just the environment and the teachers and the variety.
Any advice on how to improve on learning choreography?
I actually asked Kyle that question a few weeks ago because I still find it very challenging. He just said...time. The more you do it, the more moves you get into your body, your body will just understand how to do it, so with that it will help with also remembering. So I think kind of makes sense, so I guess you just keep doing it, but it’s hard! Even when you look into a different direction your body is just, you forget, you blank out. But the more you do it the better.
Any other little known facts about you?
I love poutine! [both laugh] And fried chicken! [more laughing] Maybe I shouldn’t say that because it’s not very healthy [even more laughs]. My friends know, poutine, fried chicken, chicken wings, that’s me.
Lol that’s awesome, thanks so much for this!